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Last year, I was invited to be a part of a local charitable event that was both inspiring and eye-opening, called the Red Tent Day. The Fifth Annual Red Tent Day for Women takes place at the Rhodes on the Pawtuxet on Sunday, March 24, 2013. In so many words, the Red Tent Day is a day of pampering for women, featuring an array of vendors with proceeds going to the RI Crisis Assistance Center. But it’s so much more.

I was honored to be a part of this day from the moment I first walked through the doors, to booths, vendors, decorations and activities that celebrate women and inspire them. I had never heard of the RI Crisis Assistance Center (RICAC) and was blown away when I learned about the organization.  RICAC’s goal is to end domestic violence and sexual assault in Rhode Island. That may sound like a lofty goal to some, but according to the women of RICAC, you have to start somewhere.  You see, the people connected to RICAC are survivors of violence. Domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, incest, and rape. They understand. They have been through it. And they have survived.


Nancy Rafi, Director of RI Crisis Assistance Center, is a survivor of domestic violence. She has worked for more than 15 years advocating and supporting survivors of violence.

“Working with victims of domestic violence and rape, and helping them move through their trauma and come out the other side a healthier person, is the most rewarding life experience I’ve ever had,” Rafi said.

This Red Tent event is all about creating a space for women to be honored, cherished, pampered and appreciated.  After a small group of RI women helped to coordinate a similar event in New Orleans at the Superdome in April 2008 to provide a healing space for almost 40,000 survivors of Hurricane Katrina, they knew they had to launch something here in Rhode Island. This year’s Red Tent Day will be the fifth annual event in Rhode Island. For more information, visit www.ricrisis.org.

The event will take place Sunday, March 24 at the Rhodes on the Pawtuxet, at 60 Rhodes Place in Cranston, RI from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Expect everything from manicures to pedicures, yoga and massages and beyond. Visit www.redtentri.com for more details. A special night out for women, supporting Gloria Gemma Foundation, will follow at 7 p.m. Tickets for this event are $20.

Please look for my pink booth in a sea of red at The Red Tent again this year! I have been invited back thanks to a personal invitation from Nancy Rafi. She has been so supportive about my blog and book venture. Thank you for everything you do for women and RICAC, Nancy. We will all be giving back to RICAC on March 24, celebrating women together.

Jackie Hennessey is a proud member of Rhody Bloggers and Rhody Bloggers for Good. She blogs about her take on motherhood at ventingsessions.com and writes about it in her book, How to Spread Sanity on a Cracker.